Migration from 2012 iMac to 2013 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AppleFan360, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #1
    I currently have a 2012 iMac and will be migrating to a new 2013 iMac. Both have Mavericks.

    On previous iMacs, I have used a Time Machine backup for the migration. Unfortunately that always takes a long time to complete (usually about 5 hours).

    This time I would like to try using a Thunderbolt connection between the two iMacs to speed things up. I have read several threads of users with issues doing it this way.

    My goal is to migrate everything over as-is (user accounts, setting, the works) so in the end, I just reboot the new iMac and everything is exactly as it was on the old iMac.

    Has anyone successfully done this using Thunderbolt? Will using Target Disk mode on the source iMac accomplish a complete migration as I described above?

    Some sort of procedure would help me a lot.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    If your Time Machine disk has a USB 3 interface, that will be just as fast as a Thunderbolt connection to the old Mac.
     
  3. AppleFan360 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #3
    My Time Machine backup is on my Time Capsule.
     
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #4
  5. AppleFan360 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #5
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Yes. I have done exactly this with a TB cable in target disk mode between two Macbook Airs and it worked perfectly. Far far faster than the USB3 Time Machine disk migrations I have done before. Yours won't be quite as fast since you don't have flash storage on both ends like I did.

    If you don't mind the cost of the TB cable, this is without a doubt the fastest way to run Migration Assistant.
     
  7. AppleFan360 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for the info. So basically the source iMac needs to be in target disc mode?

    Both iMacs have Fusion drives so hopefully it will be slightly faster.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Yes, exactly. Let me know how it goes. :)
     
  9. AppleFan360 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #9
    Just as a follow up the migration went perfect. I hooked a thunderbolt cable directly from my 2012 iMac to my 2013 iMac.

    Booted up the new iMac and it asked me if I would like to transfer information from another Mac.

    I then booted up the 2012 iMac in Target Disc Mode and the new iMac found the old iMac's hard drive.

    It then asked if I wanted to transfer settings, documents and accounts and I said yes to everything.

    After the transfer, the new iMac booted up and was configured exactly like the old iMac.

    As I said before, using the Time Capsule backup on previous migrations, it took about 5 hours.

    This time using the thunderbolt cable, it took about 2 1/2 hours (migrating about 500 GB worth of stuff). Mind you, both iMacs use Fusion drives.

    Pretty simple and glad it worked. No more migration using the Time Capsule. Yaaay! :)
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Glad it worked out well. TB cable is definitely the way to go. :)
     
  11. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #11
    Very interesting. I just bought a new Mac Mini and used Migration Assistant to copy settings from my 2007 iMac clone on a FW800 disk (again I had about 500GB of data); of course TB was not a choice for me. The whole process took just a little over 2 1/2 hours, so the TB approach wasn't considerably faster in this case. If the source and destination were SSDs instead then TB would of course be much faster, but the limiting factor here is the hard drive speed.
     
  12. AppleFan360 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #12
    As you said, Interesting. I guess since I was using the Time Capsule to migrate before (which is slower) I saw in improvement using TB. Nice to know at least I was using the best speeds I could get.
     
  13. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #13
    You did quite well. While TM is convenient it is also very slow as you noticed. I also keep a TM backup on my Time Capsule but it is so slow that I never use it. To me TM is good for archiving old revisions of files but a clone is much better as a backup. Eventually I may try TB after prices come down some more.
     
  14. SoAnyway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #14
    Transitions can take a while. It took me 1 week to completely upgrade my iMac from Lion to Maverick and be back to 100% usability.
     
  15. AppleFan360 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #15
    Really? You must have a lot going on. After I migrate or upgrade, It usually takes me maybe about an hour to enter any passwords, re-configure a few things and run a new backup.

    This is my 4th iMac (my first was purchased back in 2007) and I've never had any huge issues or spent days transitioning especially when I run the migration wizard.
     
  16. SoAnyway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #16

    Yeah for real. Here was my upgrade path (simplified):

    -Back up and archive files
    -Install Mavericks on an external hard drive
    -Boot from external hard drive
    -Wipe iMac's internal hard drive
    -Clean install Mavericks on the iMac
    -Run Software Update to update OS X
    -Install additional software
    -Update installed software
    -Repair permissions
    -Restore from Time Machine
    -Clear out preferences in user library
    -Repair permissions
    -Restart
    -Run a Time Machine backup
    -Restart

    The tasks that took the longest were: archiving/backing up because I was looking through files and folders between the internal and external hard drives, downloading software updates over the internet, and restoring from Time Machine.

    There are also the other OCDs that I have but didn't put down but this but it's how I take care of things. :)
     
  17. AppleFan360 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #17
    Wow! That's a lot of effort. That is one of the reasons why I moved to Apple so I wouldn't need to deal with that sort of stuff anymore. Back when I was using Windows, it would literally take me a week to move. Now it just takes me a few hours and I'm done.

    I can understand why you do it that way but it seems a lot of uncessesary effort. Are you using your Mac for business?
     
  18. SoAnyway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #18

    It is a lot of effort but keep in mind that it's not anything I do often. If you look at the big picture, 1 week out of the 2.5 years that I've owned my iMac isn't a whole lot of down time, especially since it was during the holiday season. The last time I did anything like this was when I upgraded from 10.6.8 to 10.7 while skipping 10.8.x all together, though I didn't put in as much effort then as I did this time around. I put in this much effort now because there was a lot that I wanted to clean out due to migrating info since 10.3.x, and back then OS X upgrades were every 2 or so years anyway. If anything, I'll probably skip all of this effort for 10.10 and do a standard upgrade, basically treat it like an iOS upgrade, then do some serious housekeeping for 10.11 or what ever Apple comes out with by then.

    I know what you mean about having to do this kind of stuff with Windows, where you literally had to nuke the boot drive because of the amount of garbage that manages to hook itself deep into the system. I don't think any of this is necessary for most users unless they have been rolling information over from update to update like I have.

    Aside from wanting to get a relatively fresh start with 10.9.x, it was a good opportunity to consolidate, archive, and backup important files, a project that I've been putting off since I bought my iMac. Because I did all of this, I was able to build a sound and strong digital workflow, or at least greatly improve on the workflow I developed for myself years ago.

    As for using my Mac for business, yes, I do use it for work. Since I use it for work, I didn't do the upgrade as soon as Apple released Mavericks to the public because I didn't want to risk having apps break on me when I needed them. So I found the perfect time to do it during the holidays.

    While we're on the subject of cleaning out a system that's used for work, I'm actually surprised with the amount of working professionals that heavily use a Mac for work and don't bother with a more thorough upgrade. I attribute it to two things: 1) the lack of knowledge and 2) they're not as neurotic as some of us. :p I snicker when they complain about "things not working properly" after an upgrade and it mostly due to the fact that they may not have cleaned something out or didn't bother repairing permissions. ;)
     

Share This Page